Archive for January, 2009

The Taste Of My Luck

Thursday, January 1st, 2009

I welcome surprises. Why not find myself in Archer City, Texas on the first day of the new year, 2009? Third day of my arrival and I am working hard. Mary sits on the bench on the front porch with her coffee and the New York Times Crossword and I with my notebook and pen, distracted by the occasional traffic going by, mostly pickups. Bewildered by the sun, boggled by air travel that has deposited me in another environment, culture, climate, way of living. Some trips into Vancouver from Fort Langley have taken me longer than to this one way destination.

Mary took me out yesterday on my first scouting mission, driving through the neighbourhoods and criss-crossing down all the back roads. From here on in I walk.

All the streets around the Inn are named after trees. I find it so ironic that, coming from the rain forest myself, to find this in what I perceive to be such a treeless place. At the end of the driveway is a hackberry tree with a sight I’ve never seen before but will see everywhere. In the joints of the barren and leafless trees are clumps of greenery that look like birds’ nests that are thriving. It is mistletoe. But mistletoe is a tree parasite and it is taking its nourishment from its tree host and ultimately killing it slowly. The kiss of death. Eventually the signs on these Archer City streets will mean “in memory of trees.”

The hunters have left. The bibliophiles too. No one got shot, just a heated exchange between the readers with favourite books debated back and forth, and trading lists was the only crossfire. Mary and I do have work ahead of us but there’s a delicious slowness to the plan. We have to take down Christmas and the Inn is resplendent still with all things red, green and of the season. There are three Christmas trees. There are poinsettias everywhere, strings of indoor and outdoor lights. Each and every room has candles, knick-knacks and garlands. I foresee many tubs of Tupperware bins filled for storage, and copious amounts of tea breaks.

But for now we are setting a spell. I am under it already. Tonight we are having a Southern tradition for supper, black-eyed peas and cornbread for good luck on the first day of January. And I can hardly wait to taste my luck.

Good Life